Definition of counterfactual adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

 

counterfactual

 adjective
adjective
NAmE//ˌkaʊntərˈfæktʃuəl//
 
(formal)
 
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connected with what did not happen or what is not the case counterfactual questions such as “What if the President had not been assassinated?” an interesting exercise in counterfactual history a counterfactual approach to historical events using “What if?” questions
counterfactualnoun
 
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“What if” questions involving counterfactuals are familiar in historical speculations.